This is the kitchen where we talk about food, life, and recovery—a spiritual path to healing and peace.

You are invited to keep coming back to A Cup of Kindness to share your experience, strength and hope; fears, doubts and insecurities; and to pick up information, inspiration … and have a little fun!

My story
In January 2007, at the age of 51, I joined a 12-step program and began my recovery from food addiction, losing 75 pounds in the process. Read more…

In January 2011, at the age of 55, I began my recovery from a multi-trauma accident, 36 fractures, damaged lungs, and post traumatic stress. Read more…

I am deeply grateful for all the kindnesses, large and small, offered to me in recovery. Here I am... alive… still making progress … still not perfect … finding a new way forward in a growing community of women and men who share a lot in common around food and life.

I hope you'll join me in this kitchen and let me know what's cooking with you.

A Cup of Kindness

Open Heart Project


All is well



I’m home! Gregory picked me up late yesterday afternoon. Thanks to the donations of food, we easily put together a swell meal. We have all the equipment we need from 2011 – commode chair, walker, grabber. Gregory bought some special cones that raise the bed about 7 inches. Perfect.

I can’t help but notice the difference in this homecoming to the one in 2011. This time, I’m alert, mostly oriented and happy. I still have my same appetite and I’m grateful to be abstinent. My energy is good… although I’m going to take a nap after writing this to you all. I’m walking around the house under my own power… with some wall surfing to assist.

On the other hand, my low back feels like the muscles are being fastened together by a big button hook into a tight corset. And I’m red all over. Really red. And a bit itchy. Apparently I had an allergic reaction to one of the antibiotics given prophylactically.

My doctor reminded me, “No BLTs.” He wasn’t talking about food. No worries. No way. At least not yet. I’m completely unable to bend, lift or twist. That imaginary interior corset is working all too well. Actually, I like the image of the stained glass window here. It makes me think of my muscles growing back together like the morning glories following a familiar framework.

I’m quite comfortable with my limitations. I’m happy to look out of our windows and watch the rains come down, the sun come out, and the growing spring. I don’t feel the desire to get somewhere or to do something or even to walk with Miranda-the-Labradoodle.

I’m enjoying the life that is coming to me.

Thank you with all my heart for your kindnesses.

Love & Light,


30 Comments to All is well

  1. Sissy's Gravatar Sissy
    March 12, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I really like “enjoying the life that is coming to me.” Nice.

  2. pattie's Gravatar pattie
    March 12, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    the stained glass window is beautiful and so are you

  3. Francesca's Gravatar Francesca
    March 13, 2013 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Dearest Valerie,

    Welcome Home! 🙂

    We’ve been keeping tabs on you and your progress. So glad to hear you’re home.

    May you … Rest ~ Breathe ~ Pray ~ Love ~ Laugh … yourself into a full recovery from your surgery with grace & ease.

    Much love,


  4. Cousin Anne's Gravatar Cousin Anne
    March 13, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Lolly and I are wishing you well! So glad to hear of your peaceful return home. Lolly is up in Boston for a quick procedure at MGH, so we are here together. Love to all!


  5. Deborah Kahn's Gravatar Deborah Kahn
    March 13, 2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    So glad to read your words this morning. Hearing your “presence to life” shine through your sentences this morning is grounding me, settling me in presence. Thank you.

  6. Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
    March 13, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I love the morning glories following a familiar pattern like the tendrils of muscles that will grow strong, flexible, supple, beautiful. What a difference two years makes. It sounds like you are incorporating “time takes time” into an asset rather than a frustration. Thank you for leading the way.

    Love you.

  7. March 13, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    You are treasured with the same peace and love as a new day. Your home coming makes the rain play more musically and the clouds have a much happier side while they wait for the smile sun’s bright smile to appear. Val, I struggle with my treatments on my hands and feet however my strength is coming from that treasure chest you have given to all of us. Please look inside when you need anything. I take the time to reflect daily measuring the kindnesses of close friends like you! Sending love and wishes to you as every day is special because of you!

  8. judy kelly's Gravatar judy kelly
    March 13, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Oh my, what a difference is this homecoming. And all of us who love and treasure you are so grateful for this difference. Just try to continue your journey with no demands on yourself but to enjoy each day!
    Much love,
    Judy and Bill

  9. Tom and Kathy Waldmann's Gravatar Tom and Kathy Waldmann
    March 13, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    We hope all continues to go well for you. It is good to have all that hardware out.

    Best always.

  10. Tom and Kathy Waldmann's Gravatar Tom and Kathy Waldmann
    March 13, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    We hope all continues to go well. It is good to have that hardware out !

    Best always

  11. Theolyn's Gravatar Theolyn
    March 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Valerie, we all are so happy that “this homecoming” is so much different and BETTER than 2 years ago! Remember the “morning glories” and how they grow and get longer and stronger each day. I know you are allowing your body to do the same thing.

    Fondly, Theolyn

  12. ellen atkinson's Gravatar ellen atkinson
    March 14, 2013 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Hi Valerie,

    Glad to know that you are doing well. I hadn’t followed the messages about what you were undergoing and why.

    How I admire your spirit, your honesty, your brilliant light.

    Glad I can experience that through these messages.

  13. Luanne Paynick's Gravatar Luanne Paynick
    March 14, 2013 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    “Happy.” I am delighted for you.
    All my love and a bit more.

  14. March 14, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    So glad to hear you are home!

    Talk about a new observer! Love experiencing your transformation.



  15. Evelyn Sommers's Gravatar Evelyn Sommers
    March 14, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    So you are no longer the bionic woman…and you’re on the mend at home! Wishing you love, healing and everything wonderful. Evelyn

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